Morata future set as Arsenal striker hunt takes final Vlahovic-inspired twist

Stanislav Lobotka, Napoli challenges Juventus' Alvaro Morata during Serie A match

Arsenal have learned the outcome of their late Alvaro Morata pursuit, and it appears Dusan Vlahovic has played another part in the Gunners’ transfer plans.

Arsenal chased the signature of Vlahovic for much of the January window. But despite their best efforts, they were unable to fend off stiff competition from Juventus. Indeed, the Serbian marksman’s move to Turin was confirmed on Friday, setting Juventus back an initial €70m.

Arsenal’s striker corps is facing great uncertainty over the coming months. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has reportedly jetted off to Barcelona in preparation for a loan move to the Spanish giant.

Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah, meanwhile, are both in the final six months of their contracts.

As such, Arsenal have been scouring the market for suitable additions, and former Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata had emerged as a late target.

The 29-year-old is currently on loan at Juventus from Atletico Madrid. However, Vlahovic’s arrival was seen in some quarters as a move that could spell the end for Morata.

Barcelona had been linked with forging a deal that would see Morata’s loan spell in Turin end six months early. Morata would then sign on loan with Barcelona, though Aubameyang is their first choice and progress is being made on that front.

Should any PL team risk Morata

Morata would either be on a redemption tour or would be Chelsea Morata 2.0.

That opened the door for Arsenal to pounce, while Tottenham and Newcastle were also in the mix.

Spanish outlet AS put Arsenal in the driving seat. Indeed, they stated that Arteta’s assistant, Miguel Molina, had personally phoned Morata to convince him to make the move.

However, the latest update from transfer guru Fabrizio Romano makes grim reading for the Gunners.

The worst January deadline day signings in recent Premier League history

Vlahovic role in failed Morata move revealed

Romano tweeted Morata ‘has decided to stay at Juventus until the end of the season’ (when his Atletico loan expires).

Barcelona, Tottenham and Arsenal were all namechecked as having chased the Spaniard. But all three are now facing disappointment.

One of the reasons Morata has been convinced to remain in Italy stems from the influence of Dusan Vlahovic.

Romano wrote Juve boss Max Allegri ‘wants him to stay and play alongside Vlahovic’.

The idea of pairing Vlahovic and Morata seemingly appeals to Allegri, and it appears the Serbian has indirectly had a hand in yet another failed Arsenal move.

READ MORE: Euro Paper Talk: Arsenal attempt dramatic deal for £60m Aubameyang successor; proactive Liverpool line up double deal